Texas hospital OR staff recorded mocking sedated patient

A woman recorded the conversations that took place while she was sedated for a medical procedure at a Texas hospital and was shocked at what she heard when she pressed play afterward.

Ethel Easter of Houston decided to record her hernia surgery after her physician was rude to her when she scheduled the procedure. Ms. Easter told Fox26 she cried when her physician told her it would be two months before she could have the surgery. She became concerned when her physician snapped back at her, allegedly saying, "Who do you think you are? You have to wait like everybody else."

When Ms. Easter went in for surgery she hid an audio recorder in her hair. Ms. Easter's surgery was performed at Lyndon B. Johnson Hospital in Houston, which is  operated by Houston-based Harris Health System.

Operating room staff are heard on the recording making rude comments about Ms. Easter while she is sedated. A surgeon calls Ms. Easter "a handful" and is heard laughing about how upset Ms. Easter was when she was told how long she would have to wait to schedule her surgery. The surgeon also comments that he feels sorry for Ms. Easter's husband.

OR staff also made derogatory comments about Ms. Easter's body. Laughter is recorded in the OR after a female voice, which Ms. Easter claims is that of an OR nurse, is heard saying, "Did you see her belly button?"

On the audio recording a male OR staff member says to the anesthesiologist, "Precious meet Precious," which Ms. Easter claims is a reference to the overweight main character in the movie Precious.

A spokesman for Harris Health System declined to comment to Fox26, citing patient confidentiality. However, in a letter to Ms. Easter, the system said it used the incident to remind physicians and OR staff to always be mindful of their comments.

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Editor's Note: This story was updated April 7 to include the name of the hospital the surgery was performed at.

 

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